Having a Ball
Pamela Pollister & Vince Albicelli
Pam and Vince’s display proves mineral collecting comes in all shapes and sizes. The couple has a long history of collecting minerals as art. They began collecting spheres in the late 1990’s while visiting local gem, mineral and fossil shows and their passion for “happening upon just the right one” has continued at expos since then!
Spherical shapes are beautiful and durable pieces likely to become family heirlooms. Pam and Vince recommend looking for spheres having interesting patterns and good color combinations. Those with cracks or fracture lines are generally avoided.
In the Same Vein
Timothy is fascinated by crystalline structures. When he first joined the Delaware Mineralogical Society’s (DMS) youth group, the Blue Rockers, he thought it would be nearly impossible to find spectacular minerals on his own. Club-sponsored field trips proved him wrong! During a recent field trip to a farmer’s field in Quarryville, PA, Timothy discovered a bit of strategy, careful observation, persistent digging and some luck yielded a vein of amethyst! The pieces displayed include amethyst samples from the farmer’s field along with some of Timothy’s other favorite quartz samples, including a large amethyst
piece his great-grandfather treasured.
Earth Resources: From Mine to Mankind
Members of the Blue Rockers
This exhibit celebrates the Blue Rockers’ effort, knowledge and talent gained working on the Earth Resources badge. The badge challenges members to find practical uses for a variety of minerals. Required tasks included educational activities, visiting a quarry and researching mineral uses. This display highlights particular minerals and the common objects they are used in. The Delaware Mineralogical Society welcomes and encourages local youth (ages 9-12) to check out the Blue Rockers. Members meet once a month, go on field trips and earn badges.
What’s in a Name?
How did minerals get their names? They can be traced to ancient civilizations, physical appearances, geographic locales, believed magical powers, people or nicknames. But these haphazard naming methods caused confusion.
Some mineral names have many names from around the world. Some minerals were re-named in the process. Other names are so old and engrained that re-naming them would only add to the confusion. To create order, the International Mineralogical Association (IMA) proposed standard names based on chemical composition. Minerals with the same basic chemical composition, crystal structure and physical properties are named within the same species. Those with slightly different chemical compositions are varieties of that species. Since the 1970’s, the names of newly-discovered minerals must be approved by the IMA. According to Fleischer’s Glossary of Mineral Species (2018), to date, more than 4,000 mineral species have been identified and named.